The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has successfully executed its ambitious Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot project. It was initially limited to wallet providers who were eager to participate within the given period.
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) partnered with BOJ to test and trial the services used for the CBDC solution. The project’s success depended on whether the CBDC with the attendant technology solution could be efficiently implemented in Jamaica.
As part of the pilot project, the BOJ minted CBDC on August 9, 2021. The central bank produced $230 million worth of digital currency for institutions and authorized payment service providers. The BOJ issued $1 million worth of CBDC to the staff of its Banking Department. It also issued $5 million worth of CBDC to NCB, a deposit-taking institution. The Jamaican central bank had picked eCurrency Mint, the Irish cryptographic security business, as the technology supplier for the digital currency pilot project.
NCB was the maiden wallet provider in the project. It effectively onboarded 57 customers, including four small merchants and 53 consumers. The customers carried out person-to-person, cash-in and cash-out transactions. This was achieved through 37 accounts. Completed transactions with small merchants was made possible through an NCB-sponsored event called Market on the Lawn.
BOJ is set to roll out the CBDC in the first quarter of 2022. The National Commercial Bank will carry on with onboarding of existing customers and new customers as well. Furthermore, two more wallet providers will be able to order the CBDC from BOJ. It will be distributed to the Jamaicans.